A group of firefighters was attacked in the multicultural Brussels no-go zone of Molenbeek after allegedly being lured to the area for a deliberate ambush.
The alleged ambush took place late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning after the firefighters were called to deal with an incident of a large dumpster that had been set on fire on the Mahatma Gandhi Avenue.
Walter Derieuw, a member of the local fire department, described the scene, saying: “The street was partially blocked by waste containers, one of which was ablaze.”
“As we approached the fire, our fire truck was suddenly pelted with glass bottles. They were thrown at us by people standing on the roof of a building. Projectiles were also thrown during the extinguishing,” he told newspaper Nieuwsblad.
Derieuw suggested the attack had been a planned ambush, saying: “We wonder if we were not deliberately lured on the spot in order to attack us.”
French Firefighter Hit by Gunshot While Responding to Blaze https://t.co/lJ7Hw5oUny
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 19, 2020
According to local police, the incident is not the first ambush attack on firefighters in the Belgian and EU capital.
Molenbeek itself has become internationally infamous due to the high levels of radical Islamic activity over the years, with France’s deadliest Islamic terrorist attack, the Bataclan massacre, being linked to the area.
One of the Bataclan attackers, Salah Abdeslam, hid in Molenbeek for months before police were finally able to take him into custody.
Earlier this year, the area came into headlines again during the Wuhan virus outbreak, when several local youths in the area were arrested after spitting on the door handles of police vehicles in an effort to infect officers.
Attacks on firefighters in neighbouring France have become common in recent years as well. In July of this year a firefighter was even hit by a gunshot while responding to a fire in the commune of Etampes.
French union official Jean-Christophe Cantot commented on the growing trend of violence, warning that “The attacks we are experiencing are getting more and more violent.”
French Police Arrest 20 After Molotov Attack on Firemen https://t.co/akxR4ACrxV
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 31, 2020